This guy Charlie Hunter is a really serious guitar player; there’s guys who just play, guys that shred and others that just copy. Charlie Hunter is someone that thinks for himself, and he can play. I’ve been aware of his playing for quite a few years now, when I first heard him him doing Hendrix’s If six was Nine, I thought what is this? What the? That sound… good heavens… he’s got it. And I got what he’s doing and it sends chills through me. Salutations to Charlie Hunter.
Anyone that was alive and listening in the early seventies would have been aware of the Dutch band Focus, and many would also realise that their music extended way past the hit single Hocus Pocus, complete with yoddeling. I have posted about the following electric guitar video because it is of historical value. The original guitar player with Focus was the unbelievable player Jan Akkerman, second to none in his day. After he left, another player called Philip Catherine joined the band. Philip Catherine is an incrdible jazz guitar player, I have heard him working with Niels Henning Orsted Pederson, the virtuoso Danish jazz bass player and also the legendary Stepane Grapelli, and Larry Coryell. In Europe, Philip Catherine was really pushing ahead in the areas of jazz rock. Philip Catherine and Coryell, recorded a couple of the worlds best acoustic guitar duets ever, fast, sensitive and very scary. In fact, I think Coryell sounded his best when he played with Catherine.
So here is Philip Catherine with Focus, yes a little dated but well worth seeing him in action, remember it is 32 years ago.
Charlie Mingus the legendary bass player wrote a song called Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. Over the years I’ve heard many great players record it, John McLaughlin, Ralph Towner, Joni Mitchell did a vocal version as well, but the most strking version I’ve ever heard is Jeff Beck doing his electric version which he recorded on Wired in 76.
This youtube guitar video is Jeff Beck playing Pork Pie Hat in 2006. It’s part of a medley, the other tune is called Brush with the Blues.
Ronnie Jordan is a very good contemporary jazz player, he plays very musically compared to a lot of other players and his emphasis is very much on feel. In this youtube video he is playing the jazz standard by Miles Davis called So What.
The only thing better than one guitar is two, the only thing better than one great guitarist is two. Apply the afore mentioned principle to a song by a musical genius e.g. Jeff Beck ‘Because we’ve Ended as Lovers’ and the result is something extraordinary.
Lee Ritenour crept or quietly exploded into the jazz rock scene in the late seventies both as a ession player and band leader, and Steve Lukather was turning many heads with his perfect recordings and work with commercial band Toto. Regardless of what style we prefer as listeners, do yourself a favour, watch and listen to this guitar video.
Larry Carlton scared the living daylights out of me in the seventies with his intro to the Steely Dan song Don’t take me Alive. I was already familiar with his work prior to his work with the Dan. Robben Ford appeared on the scene a short time later. To hear these guys together is a bit of a treat, they function at a much higher level than most guitar players. That is not an insult to anyone at all, it’s just that they have done the hard yards of study and working on seesions and with other world class musicians. Two guitars interacting is always a ‘goer’ for me. These guys are two of the worlds best jazz rock players. If you are not familiar with either of these players, I highly reommend exploring their work.
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